Beet Bourguignon

If you google the french dish Bœf B-o-u-r-g-u-i-g-n-o-n (phew) you will see Julia Child’s classic recipe everywhere. Talk about making an impression and leaving a footprint. We were looking it up since we have been experiencing a couple cold winter weeks here in Sweden and couldn’t imagine a dish more suitable for this climate than a warm and hearty stew. The Beef Bourguignon is made on beef and bacon, so not the most appropriate dish for vegetarians. But we reckoned that there must be a way to transform that rich, wine oozing hot pot into something more in our taste. After a few experiments it turns out that we were only one letter away. We turned beef into beet. We also added large chunks of mushrooms to give the stew the right texture and flavor.

We’re not sure what Julia Child would say if she tried our version of it. Probably “Oh dear no”. But except for replacing the meat we have actually had her recipe as our inspiration when creating this. We did however feel the need to increase the amount of vegetables (how can her recipe only call for one carrot in a whole stew?).

And how does it taste? Simply fantastic, if we may say so. It has got those deep and rich thyme and wine flavors, different sort of textures and a hint of sweetness. Indulgent winter food at its best.

We have seen many recipes combining this type of dish with pasta noodles. We prefer Puy lentils so that is what we paired it with. A potato mash would also work really good. Or perhaps both?

Beet Bourguignon
Serves at least 4 persons 

This is one of those dishes that works well making a day in a advance. The flavors will become more intense and the vegetables more tender.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 small beets, peeled & quartered (we used Chioggia beets)
4 medium sized carrots, sliced in large pieces
2 sprigs thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine 

2 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
2 tsp arrowroot powder, solved in 2 tbsp water (optional)

2 cups puy lentils, for serving
4 cups water
a pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 portobello mushrooms
10 champignon mushroom
10 small pearl onions, peeled

Cooking the stew: Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or a large cast iron pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic, sauté until soft. Toss beets, carrots, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste, red vine, vegetable stock and bay leaves, let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the lentils, mushrooms and pearl onions.

Preparing the Puy lentils: Rinse lentils under running water. Bring water to a boil, add lentils and lower to medium heat. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, when almost done add salt. Set aside.

Searing the mushrooms and pearl onion: Heat olive oil in a pan. Lower the heat and sear the portobello, champignon mushrooms and pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden in color. Season to taste. Set aside.

Finishing the stew: Taste the stew, add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. If you prefer the stew a little thicker, add arrowroot mixture, but this is optional. Add mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 more minutes. To serve, spoon the stew over a plate of lentils and sprinkle with fresh thyme.


  • Beautiful dish, which sounds every bit as good as the original. The mushrooms are the perfect addition to sneak that umami back into the dish without meat.
  • Wow, what a great idea! I will be trying this soon, I hope. I just don't think I will be able to find those special beets, I hope it works well with the boring red ones too.
  • This is a beautiful adaptation! And pairing it with lentils or another protein rich grain seems perfect, sans boeuf.
  • Turning Boeuf Bourguignon into Beet Bourguignon: absolutely brilliant! You two and your kitchen never cease to amaze me. Thank you for the constant inspiration.
  • Jodie McGovern
    if you weren't my kitchen heroes already, you are now!
  • This looks AMAZING!! I just added it to my meal plan for next week, can't wait to try it. Thanks!!!
  • Gracia
    After almost a year of reading your blog and trying your recipes, i thought it would be only appropriate to leave you a comment. You guys are my idols, and probably one of the reasons why i finally told my finally i wanted to become a vegetarian. Your recipes only keep getting better and i don't think i've tried one i haven't liked. Family favorites now are the Involtinis and the Mango-Mint Zucchinni Spaghetti. I also have shared your blog with a lot of people who are willing to eat more veggies, or try new things, and they've all been surprised by the taste of your dishes. Finally, i just want to add that your pictures are amazing, and you've inspired me to also eat "pretty food", arranging the meal in a way that it looks good and taking pictures of it. Greetings to you three, from Mexico, Gracia
    • Wow Gracia, thank you for those incredibly sweet words. I don't think no one has ever called us their idols before. It totally made our day. We're so glad that you and your family are finding our recipes useful. The Involtini and the zucchini spaghetti are also two of our favorites. Much love David, Luise & Elsa
  • Amazing! I will make it this week for sure! Thanks!
  • All I'm going to say - I just bought beet, mushrooms and lentils and I'm cooking this tomorrow! This meal that you prepared is so original, so unusual, but in the other hand so logic. When I saw it I was just thrilled with all the ingredients that you combined replacing those in the original recipe. Thank you for inspiring my recipes and my cooking. :) p.s.: I'll send you a link to my blog post when I put photos of beet bourguignon. :)
  • Whoa! This sounds awesome! Yum!
  • i am awe of this recipe. so hearty and flavorful - i can't wait to make it this week!
  • Rosie Kourian
    Oh how beautiful this is!!! It looks like the perfect soothing, comforting wintery meal! I love these colours and the styling! Thank you, Luise and David, for inspiring us to see the beauty of life and the simple things, like a Beet Bourguignon... Warmly, Rosie
  • I think Julia would like it. She was always breaking the rules, right? I'm going to pass this onto my neighbor. Her whole family of 6 are vegetarian and she is always looking for good dinners to feed everyone.
  • This looks truly wonderful! What an excellent idea, and so beautifully photographed. Thanks!
  • Haha, I totally read the post title as "beef" and thought, hmm, now that's not GKS style! Then realized it was beet :) Great idea guys! I've never had the real thing, but your's looks like a great veggie version!
  • Great idea! That's so crazy that Julia's recipe only calls for one carrot. Delicious, bright dish. Thanks so much for sharing.
  • Sini
    I love this: a true classic interpreted in a new way. Have to make it. And I'm longing for lentils right now so that would be perfect too!
  • I'm marking this one down! Looks awesome!
  • I don't think Julia would disapprove at all: She certainly had an adventuresome spirit, and I bet she was one dame who could appreciate a good beet every once in a while. (At least I like to think so.) Regardless, however, I definitely approve: This whole situation looks incredible.
  • This looks delicious, I'm going to try it when the weather gets cold again :)
  • Another great recipe! (Broken record, anyone?) I've been dying to open up a nice bottle of red wine, but haven't for fear I would have to (gasp) drink it all. Myself. Now I can happily give some to beets and mushrooms in good conscience.
  • wow, i am absolutely positively making this. i have always wanted to try a vegan bourguignon and this is the one i will make ;) thank you for the fantastic recipe!
  • I'm not vegetarian, but I typically cook vegetarian at home and this looks marvellous. While Puy lentils are an absolute favourite of mine, I have to admit your suggestion to serve over a potato mash is enticing! Thanks for sharing.
  • Yum and gulp! This dish is amazing. As a vegetarian I always wondered how the bourguignon tastes. Now I can taste it. I will definitely cook it.
  • Beautiful guys! Will have to bookmark this one for when winter arrives here in Oz.
  • This looks so amazing! I love your recipes and philosophy on food, every time I come to your blog to check a new post, it makes me happy :) have a great weekend!

Leave a comment